Thursday, March 29, 2012

Open Wide. . .

Julia and Ella went to the dentist for the first time, and did great! (None of you need to pay any attention to the fact that Julia is almost 4 and is just now going to the dentist. . .) Julia was extra prepared thanks to a Dora (the Explorah!) book from the library. She got right up there and let them go to town. They got those teeth all cleaned up and even took x-rays! They did find one little cavity, so we'll be heading back in a couple of weeks to get that filled. Once she was done, Julia got to pick a prize out of the treasure chest. I kid you not, Ella looked at the treasure chest, at the dentist chair, back at the chest, and then climbed right up on that chair. She was READY FOR A PRIZE. And she did awesome as well - let the hygienist look in her mouth, practice brushing, clean her teeth, and even floss. And she got her prize.

I have great kids, did you know that?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mmmmmm, pie.

We had another Pie Party as part of Pi Day (3/14)! It was delicious. Absolutely delicious. Pie and friends, what more could you ask for? A picture? Oh, don't you know? I don't take pictures very often. It's a failing of mine. I'm not even trying to work on it. Just imagine a lot of pie, and me stuffing my face. You'll get the general idea.

In honor of the day, I am finally taking my Pie Poll down. Allow me to formally post the results (of a poll that closed, oh, 5 months ago): 1st place was a tie between Pumpkin and Chocolate. 2nd place was a tie between Pecan and Key Lime. 3rd place (with 1 vote each!) went to Apple, Strawberry Rhubarb, Lemon Meringue, and Peach. Cherry, Raspberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, and Banana Cream didn't place. (Poor little Banana Cream.) And now *poof* it's gone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chore Chart Victory!

We have chore charts around these parts. Chore charts that tend to be ignored for weeks at a time, actually. But lately we've been on a chore chart kick. I told Julia way back in the fall that if she got 100 stickers on her chore charts, she would earn an ice cream cone. She reminded me of that promise not too long ago, and has been working extra hard to reach her goal. And last night we counted them up and realized that she had made it. So tonight we went out for ice cream! I took a picture:

Oh, wait. No I didn't. Hello, I'm Shannon, and I don't ever take pictures. But imagine, if you will, Julia with a cup of Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream (with a cone on top, to make everyone happy), and the rest of us sharing a cup of Peanut Butter Banana. Then imagine Julia with chocolate all around her mouth, wearing a huge grin, and Ella continually wiping the table with her napkin. And that's all you are missing here. Oh, and also, my favorite part was when the PB Banana was gone, and Julia says, "Oh, if your ice cream is all gone, then you can all share my ice cream!" What generosity! I've taught her well, that Julia girl.

I think the chart has been very good for her. She still doesn't ever make her bed, and getting her to pick up toys can be challenging, but I've noticed that she gets dressed (and puts away her jammies) without my asking every morning. And she brushes her teeth most mornings. And she is getting better and better at reminding me to let her set the table. So we're making great progress.

In case you were curious, Ella has a chore chart, too. Hers is much simpler. It has three tasks: Brush Teeth, Pick Up Toys, Listen and Obey. The Listen and Obey column has one, lonely little sticker. She has a bit of room for improvement.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Did you know that Clark doesn't dance? All these years of being married to a dancer (or at least a former one), and it's still like pulling teeth to get him to dance with me. I remember once when we went to a dance together and. . . well, I think he'd rather I didn't remember. So we won't go into it. Just know that he doesn't dance.

But when it comes to his daughters? He's all over the dancing. Or at least making them dance. In hilarious fashions. And the other night, he was doing it again, and I had to share it.

I love how Ella looks like she's at a rodeo or something.

And let's not forget that Julia is a little dancer in her own right. I was out and about one night, and I came home after the girls were in bed. Clark had taken this video, and it warmed my little heart.

It makes me think of all the time spent dancing in the living room with my sisters. And I love that Ella needed a dress, too, so she got a big shirt.

Also, Julia has a particularly nice "squat move" that she pulls out a lot. I'm not sure where she got that one, but it cracks me up.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Leprechaun Lair

Way back at Christmastime, I decided we should do a gingerbread house. And I decided that the best way to do that would be to purchase a gingerbread house kit. And I decided the best time to do that would be after Christmas. So, frugal mother I am, I went out the day after Christmas and bought a kit at 50% off. I thought it would be the perfect activity for the week between Christmas and New Years.

And then that week went by, with no gingerbread house constructed. I had even thought it could be fun to do on New Years Day, but it didn't happen that day either.

So then I had this brilliant idea to make it a Love Shack instead and do it for Valentines Day. It's got red candy in it. And red frosting. Really, it lends itself well to this holiday. The idea was genius!

And then Valentines Day passed us by. And I forgot to make the gingerbread house.

But luckily (see what I did there?), St Patrick's Day was the next holiday, and it uses the other color found in Christmas creations: green. And so the idea of a Leprechaun Lair was born.

After all that, I FINALLY remembered to put the thing together, and I am rather proud of the outcome. Not because it's particularly beautiful or well done, but because a) we finally did it, and b) I think it's creative, whatever its faults may be.

So, here you have it, our Leprechaun Lair:

Let's take a closer look, shall we? Notice the "Leprechaun" snowman? (We were trying to give him a belt [and by "we" I mean "I," I take full responsibility], but there was only white, green, and red frosting, so it looks a little. . . strange.) And see the pot of gold? I thought that was a particularly nice touch.

And most importantly? We had fun. Julia was delighted with the craftiness of it all, Ella loved eating all the hard candy, Clark didn't have a heart attack trying to stop Ella from choking on the hard candy, and I was just glad to have followed through on something for once.

(P.S. Doesn't Ella look adorable in this last picture? The dishcloth for an apron, the sweet curls of hair, and oh, that face. I love her.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Monday was March 19. We were out riding bikes. In Michigan. Unreal.

Since it's suddenly summer (for a week only, but still, highs in the 80s), I decided it was time to buy Ella a trike. So I found the cheapest one at Meijer and took it home. I put it together during naptime on Monday (also known as "Play in the Crib But Don't Sleep Time"), and we took it out for a spin that very afternoon.

She's still a bit small for it. Maybe by real summer she'll be able to pedal it. But even though her feet don't reach the pedals, she still loves this thing. I think she was shocked when she saw it. Like she was thinking, "For me? A bike? Of my very own? Not Julia's?"

When it was time to come in, all I got was a calm but firm, "No." Winner!

And it came in a big box. Aren't big boxes the best toys?